[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #36

Saxon Brenton saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Wed Oct 13 07:02:51 PDT 2004

The Daily Super Short-Short Story #36
A Devil Came Down to Georgia 18
Last Time: Damian the evil sock found that he wasn't the only one taking 
an unwholesome interest in Martin's new powers.
     Lisa led Damian back to one of the university science labs. There were 
two other people there. "Everybody, this is Damian. He's agreed to help us 
with the Martin Wryce situation."
     One of the two was a robed figure whose nature the wondersock 
recognised by the psychic signature, but which was totally concealed from 
the audience. (For now. See contest details at end of story.) "This is 
Tsurlich," Lisa said.
     "Hello Damian," said Tsurlich, nodding.
     "And this is Kien," Lisa added, indicating a slim young Asian man.
     Damian's faux features moulded themselves into a frown of puzzlement. 
"You seem mostly human," the sock commented.
     "For the most part, I am," Kien said with a perfunctory bow. "I am 
a tulpa."
     "That's not a type of monster that I've heard of," admitted Damian. 
"Doesn't that mean...?"
     " 'Thought form' in Tibetan, yes. You're right of course, strictly 
speaking it's not a type of monster at all," Kien agreed with a satisfied 
smirk. "One of the spiritual practices of the Buddhist monks is to visualise 
their own failings and sins - externalise them so to speak - and then cast 
them out as a way of resisting temptations. Unfortunately one young priest 
turned out to be a mutant whose powers of psychoprojection made the 
visualisation of his own darker impulses just a little bit more concrete 
and self-aware than the simple abstract symbol he was expecting. Before he 
could get rid of me I ate his soul and took over his body for myself."
     "Now there's a story to warm the heart."
     "Thank you," smiled Kien. "We also have someone else for you to meet."
     "Oh?" said Damian as they moved into the next room.
     "We anticipated that you might be weakened from a confrontation with 
the boy," said Tsurlich. "We took the liberty of getting you a mount."
     And there, sitting naked in a cage that was too small for him to 
stand up in, was TJ. Alive, if not necessarily the better for wear, and 
watching the nightsiders carefully but still with some trepidation.
     "We repaired him, as you can see," said Kien.
     "But not completely," observed Damian, pointedly referring to his 
complete lack of genitals.
     Lisa shrugged. "Enough to keep him alive. There was no point in 
putting back unnecessary bits." She narrowed her eyes thoughtfully. "I 
find his attitude interesting. He's obviously scared, but he doesn't seem 
be as submissive as humans normally get."
     Damian knew what she was talking about. Properly broken humans tended 
to be very subdued, kept their heads down, and didn't take as much interest 
in their surroundings as TJ did. He also knew what the explanation was, 
having rummaged around in the young man's head. "He doesn't quite think 
like most humans," the sock said. "He was abused when he was younger, and 
part of him is broken."
     "What, *another* abused altar boy?" asked Tsurlich, deadpan.
     That garnered a metaphorical raised eyebrow from Damian. Lisa caught 
the expression, and explained with a hint of irritation: "The spread of 
sin from the abuse of trust may be very important, but after a while you 
begin to wonder if the reputation of humans for being really creatively 
nasty to one another is all that it's cracked up to be, when *all* you 
seem to find is priests molesting children."
     Damian smiled. "Well then, marvel at something new under the sun," he 
said, "because Timmy-Joe here *wasn't* anally raped until his bum bled." 
     "He wasn't?"
     "No," said the sock, and explained.
     When he was done the others smiled with pleased incredulity. "Ah, 
now *that's* got chutzpah," said Lisa with satisfaction. "Upfront, proud 
of what they did, and none of this skulking about and being embarrassed 
about it."
     "They did try to keep it hidden," disagreed Kien.
     "I think that with time they'd have gotten more open about it," said 
Damian. "Humans have this wonderful habit of making things seem normal. 
In time they probably would have tried to mobilise opinion in their 
favour, and get the rest of the country to support them."
     "We could hope so," agreed Lisa. "The amount of damage we could
wreak with something on that scale woul be wonderful."
Tomorrow: Uhm. Maybe an issue focusing on TJ, or maybe we'll jump back 
and see what Martin's doing.
Contest Time! What is Tsurlich?
     I've known for about a week in advance that Damian would meet up 
with a diverse group of other diabolicals, and have been skimming through 
various reference books looking for ideas (which is where the usurping 
tulpa idea came from). I was planning on a group of four (including 
Damian), probably with an even split of male/female. But despite a wealth 
of choices, I just couldn't make up my mind on what the fourth member 
would be. So I decided to ask the Readers.
     So crank up your idea generators and over the next few days I'll be 
taking suggestions. Responses to RACC will be preferred (and don't forget 
to keep the crosspost to alt.comics.lnh, which really needs some relief 
from the spham). I don't know whether I'm looking for a consensus from the 
rest of you, or just a spiffy idea that happens to take my fancy. Whatever. 
Should Tsurlich be a succubus? A lilim? A troll wife? A fox woman? A ninya? 
A spham elemental? A smurf? A deep one? A superintelligent shade of the 
colour blue? Something else?
     So. A short description please - especially for anything *really* 
exotic that I might need to look up - and perhaps even a funky Looniverse Y 
name that'll get you a citation just like the one that Andrew has to put 
up with for the Teenaged Giant Halfbreed Angels. Yay!
     And if nothing else, this might help me gauge how many people are 
reading this series. (Naughty Saxon! Naughty sneaky duplicitous self-
serving Saxon!)
     I'll probably use the final answer sometime mid next week, around 
the 20th or 21st, so you have until then.
The Daily Super Short-Short Story series and the wondersocks created by 
Arthur Spitzer, and used with belated permission.
Saxon Brenton    University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au 
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero 
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup can be found at:

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